• Welcome!
    Logout|My Dashboard

Galveston spends more than $13,500 on council-related food at City Hall - The Galveston County Daily News: Local News

February 10, 2016

Galveston spends more than $13,500 on council-related food at City Hall

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.


    You must be a subscribed user to comment on this story.

  • jpcarnes posted at 4:57 am on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    jpcarnes Posts: 2

    I'm surprised this is a news story.

  • IslandResident posted at 9:27 am on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    IslandResident Posts: 228

    Must be a slow news day.

  • mainlandlass posted at 10:02 am on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    mainlandlass Posts: 68

    It's ridiculous that the taxpayer should pay for lunch when the council is meeting. How many people go to work expecting their employer will pick up their lunch tab, not to mention the reason for doing so is because they can't get it done in under 1-1/2 hours.
    It matters that public officials be held accountable for the small items as well as the large. When they're not, they ALWAYS take advantage.

  • bogeygolfer posted at 10:06 am on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    bogeygolfer Posts: 40

    Wow Dolph, your new direction is really great!

  • Alvinbr62 posted at 10:13 am on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    Alvinbr62 Posts: 538

    I agree with mainlandass ! And so how do you think they spend your other tax money ?

  • mickphalen posted at 10:44 am on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    mickphalen Posts: 754

    The biggest crime is taking something that has happened in Galveston (and other county cities) for years, and headline it like breaking news ...

    I don't know any details, but I'm guessing that council members do not make the lunch order, and also, if I remember correctly, Galveston councilmembers are non-paid positions - - $13,000 is a small benefit for the hours they spend on City business, whether we agree with them, or not.

  • bogeygolfer posted at 11:15 am on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    bogeygolfer Posts: 40

    @mainlandlass: the difference is that employers are already paying employees. Council members are volunteers. I have no problem feeding them while they're volunteering. This whole discussion is ridiculous, and the GDN should find any number of more important stories to report. Is it any wonder papers lose readers ( and business)when they present stories like this as news?

  • shellypearl posted at 1:30 pm on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    shellypearl Posts: 144

    the days of the little woman sending a dish for a potluck at any meetings has seen its sinking slowly. many/most families are dual earners and the last thing any of them want to do is go home and fix a dish for the next day! I am retired and I frequently to that thank goodness for takeout and delivery. Get a grip, this is not news.[tongue]

  • Jarvo posted at 2:37 pm on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    Jarvo Posts: 435

    I would like them to consider ordering ,lunch from the Star Drug Store. Their food is outstanding
    And their prices are affordable. Just saying,spread it around. You will find fairness has its rewards .
    Nothing worse than a hungry council.

  • jax posted at 3:00 pm on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    jax Posts: 3

    I agree with mickphalen. I have no problem with providing lunch to council members who are volunteering their time to do business of the city - even if I don't agree with how they do that business. However, I do have a bit of a concern with purchasing so much food that it is offered to those attending the meetings, including juornalists, or for people to take home for dinner.

    As Jarvo said, it would be nice to spread the business around to other restaurants in the city.

  • mytoby3113 posted at 3:40 pm on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    mytoby3113 Posts: 429

    They have a slow day everyday, unless it is something thay want to argue about.

  • Jake Buckner posted at 4:59 pm on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 2240

    Unlike most, I found this an interesting and informative story. It's not news, per se, but I enjoyed reading it nonetheless.

    I agree with those who feel the expenditure is justified. Working lunches and/or provided lunches are common at many businesses. They increase productivity. I feel the council members are sadly under-appreciated for their hard work as volunteer public servants -- politics, opinions, and performance aside.

    I'm glad to read they patronize only Island businesses.

  • jax posted at 5:21 pm on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    jax Posts: 3

    I suspect the "News" was trying to stir up criticism of the council for having lunch at taxpayer's expense. From reading these comments, it doesn't seem to have worked out that way.

    Perhaps a more useful and informative article would explain why Mr. Graham suddenly resigned from the paper. I'm certainly curious to know.

  • RonShelby posted at 7:16 pm on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    RonShelby Posts: 922

    Ridiculous cost. I'll give odds they don't buy "coffee" for any of the departments. Eat before you go or plan to eat afterwards. I can only understand this if you have an all day meeting. In that case. Only lunch. This is a LOT of money.

  • RonShelby posted at 7:18 pm on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    RonShelby Posts: 922

    6" subs from Subway run $4.00 each. I'd feel a personal responsibility to have money spent as if its my own dollar. That's an excellent rule of thumb. If you like to eat a $20 lunch....I'd say too bad.

  • Stephm posted at 7:27 pm on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    Stephm Posts: 22

    It sounds like the city could cut the food orders in half. This bothers me, because of the volume of food that is being purchased on the taxpayer's dime. Mr. Pappous commented that he goes back looking for leftovers to take home for his dinner.

  • bogeygolfer posted at 8:19 pm on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    bogeygolfer Posts: 40

    I can't understand how anyone could call Happy Buddha ridiculous. C'mon people, their lunches cost about $7, the same as a 6" Subway, chips, and a drink. Let's all focus on the important things, shall we?

  • Jake Buckner posted at 11:34 pm on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 2240

    I'm curious whether Happy Buddha is good. I guess if what bogeygolfer says is true, I can afford to find out for myself!

    But I think what Mr Shelby is saying is this: about $400 divided by about 7 is about $57. Per lunch. Per council member.

    Maybe that's not how it really is (others are eating too), but it looks high. Like I said below, I don't begrudge them lunch, but it looks high.

  • lisablair posted at 6:29 am on Mon, Dec 16, 2013.

    lisablair Posts: 160

    The City used to cycle through the local restaurants and Sunflower would get the order every 6-8 weeks or so. Sandwiches and soup, a few brownies, nothing over the top. This is definitely a change from what past Councils have done.

  • wbb posted at 6:42 am on Mon, Dec 16, 2013.

    wbb Posts: 30

    I wonder, how much it costs the City of Galveston, to answer FOI requests by Galveston Daily News and how often the FOI request(s) actually lead to something.
    Does it really matter that meals are supplied? I'm sure the cost pales in comparison to the constant barrage of FOI requests - that don't add to much in the way of information leading to "news that's fit to print" (sorry, stole New York TImes line).

  • lisablair posted at 8:05 am on Mon, Dec 16, 2013.

    lisablair Posts: 160

    It's just good stewardship of tax dollars to be conservative.

  • Island Runner posted at 9:21 am on Mon, Dec 16, 2013.

    Island Runner Posts: 401

    Lets see the council works for a salary of $0.00 and the Daily Snooze has the gall to questions how much it cost for lunch for the council and no telling how many staff that have to be there. If you figure just $5 an hour for the six council people that is $4,800 per month the city is saving in unpaid salaries or $57,600 per year. Minus the lunches still leaves $44,000+ the city is saving. Was the news so slow that the Daily Snooze had nothing better to do?

  • John Ferguson posted at 12:06 pm on Mon, Dec 16, 2013.

    John Ferguson Posts: 81 Staff

    I can answer parts of that.

    The city is compelled by law to inform us of any requests that would cost more than $40 to fulfill, as well as give us options to accept the charge or ways that may lower the costs of the request. Sometimes, we accept the charges, sometimes we narrow the scope of requests to defray the costs and sometimes the cost is too high and we decide to pursue stories with another method.

    The city doesn't do the actual work of fulfilling a request until we've settled on a payment method.

    In this case, the city charged us $100.10 for the cost of copies, labor and overhead. We happily paid that cost.

    As to how often a request leads to something leads to something. That's up to some interpretation. Not all requests are turned into stories, but all the requests I make are because there is some sort of information I'm interested in and the city possesses.

  • oldsaltydog posted at 12:37 pm on Mon, Dec 16, 2013.

    oldsaltydog Posts: 25

    Sure does explain the Mayor's gain in weight .

  • wbb posted at 5:54 pm on Mon, Dec 16, 2013.

    wbb Posts: 30

    As to the foi request for this article, submitted to city secy , I wonder how much time it took for a city staffer to comply with the request - does it merit the time spent to discover that close to $14,000 was spent on meals? What could/would that employee be doing otherwise? Foi's are a right we, as citizens have. With that I don't feel there should be reason or cause to abuse the right. If this is the only "smoking gun" available, leads me to believe that the city is being run well? I will say, at least we didn't read another article on Seawall parking!

  • oldsaltydog posted at 7:41 am on Tue, Dec 17, 2013.

    oldsaltydog Posts: 25

    wbb - how is it that private entity i.e. the Galveston Daily News has an FOIA request is unreasonable cost to the City of Galveston? Mr. wbb are YOU the FOIA police?
    Perhaps the Galveston Daily News has just touched the tip of the ICEBERG!
    Keep digging GDN. Follow the money!!!

  • mytoby3113 posted at 11:57 am on Sat, Dec 21, 2013.

    mytoby3113 Posts: 429

    Yes he has gain, free food will make you gain. And then some of them take it home for dinned. Please [beam] [beam]

  • mytoby3113 posted at 11:59 am on Sat, Dec 21, 2013.

    mytoby3113 Posts: 429

    They may not be getting paid by the city. But they get a lot of purks and you know it

  • gecroix posted at 12:20 pm on Sat, Dec 21, 2013.

    gecroix Posts: 5384

    I had to bring my own food to work for over 36 years.
    Guess I was discriminated against...
    That aside, take a lesson:
    If you MUST soak taxpayers for what you should pay for yourself, then next time, pay with SNAP cards.
    You won't get as many complaints about that...[blink]

  • RooMom posted at 10:44 am on Mon, Jan 27, 2014.

    RooMom Posts: 6

    I can't believe Council was able to spend anything at all at ShyKatz. Hours are posted on the door, but they seem to be open only every other Tuesday from 2-4 pm in months ending in "er". It's easier to eat at the Artillery Club than ShyKatz .[wink]